The last major road to be repaved is our most problematic, Bread and Cheese. The plan was for the county to complete after National grid installed gas mains. However, to date, mains are installed only to Rochelle. Since National Grid is unable to complete the entire road in time for fall paving, Suffolk County will now delay the repave until spring. They will do pothole repair before year end.
The cool weather is ideal for our biking enthusiasts but our narrow, hilly roads present challenges.
According to Injury Facts, about 1,100 deaths resulted from cyclists colliding with motor vehicles in 2015. With about 80 million bike riders sharing the road with millions of motorized vehicles, the importance of safety precautions in traffic cannot be overstated.
Use Your Head, Protect Your Noggin
Cyclists who wear a helmet reduce their risk of head injury by an estimated 60% and brain injury by 58%. That statistic makes sense when you consider the first body part to fly forward in a collision is usually the head, and with nothing but skin and bone to protect the brain, the results can be fatal.
Helmets must meet federal safety standards and should fit securely.
Follow These Rules to Keep Safe
- Get acquainted with traffic laws; cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists
- Know your bike’s capabilities
- Ride single-file in the direction of traffic, and watch for opening car doors and other hazards
- Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections
- Never hitch onto cars
- Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder
- Wear bright clothing and ride during the day
- If night riding can’t be avoided, wear reflective clothing
- Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
A FINAL NOTE OF CAUTION REGARDING OUR EXPLODING DEER POPULATION: They are now donning their darker winter coats, making them especially hard to see at dawn and dusk, favorite foraging times.
Fort Salonga roads are under siege with speeding, tailgating and illegal passing all too common. Many of our roads are also inherently difficult to navigate with curves, hills, and poor visibility due to our wooded terrain. Bread and Cheese (B&C) presents the biggest challenge with a large volume of VA traffic and also providing trucks with an illegal shortcut. We continue to enlist the assistance of the appropriate county, police and town agencies. We have also reached out to the VA director and he has cautioned his employees. Electronic warning signs have been periodically installed on both B&C and Old Bridge. The county refuses to place stop signs along B&C, claiming they are not designed for speed control.
The county will be repaving B&C this fall and while this may make for a smoother ride it will add to the speeding issues. Also, Huntington will be repaving Middleville and Old Bridge, probably this month. We urge residents to continue to report specific violations of illegal trucks to police and trucking companies. While of limited immediate effect, it does demonstrate the level of community concern. Also, this is an election year and keeping town officials focused on these issues is important.
Another area of danger is the large volume of traffic moving through our shopping centers. Pedestrians cross at random, oblivious to oncoming cars, often texting while walking. With no traffic controls, parking lots become a free-for-all with drivers speeding to the nearest exit. Parking in an open area with few obstructing cars can reduce the risk. We remind our residents to be aware of other drivers and pedestrians, and be extra cautious in this dangerous mix of people and cars.
Busy squirrels hoarding nuts, the changing colors of Fresh Pond, and a touch of cool, brisk air tell us it is autumn in Fort Salonga! As I write, we have just experienced a number of 80 degree days—what a treat to extend the summer by a few weeks. It is my hope this edition of our newsletter finds you and your families well. Certainly the coming of fall has stimulated your Fort Salonga Association’s efforts, as we’ve held a number of recent meetings with our local government representatives.